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Knitting / Apparel

Fall Comes Early To New York

European Preview, I TexStyle presented latest European fabrics in back-to-back shows.

 East Side, West Side and all around the town, designers, apparel manufacturers and retailers traversed the sidewalks of New York for an early look at fabrics for Fall 2002/Winter 2003. The third edition of European Preview, a fabric show organized by Premiere Visions management, was immediately followed by I TexStyle, jointly sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and Magic International.European Preview is held at Metropolitan Pavillion on West 18th Street. Nearly 150 fabric companies from nine European countries presented the beginnings of their new collections. The show gives buyers an early indication of trends in color, texture, weave, finish and pattern, as well as help in finding new fabric resources. At the same time, exhibitors glean information about what is of interest to buyers, enabling them to further develop their collections.It was a first for I TexStyle, which presented 110 lines from Prato and Moda In at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Manhattans Upper East Side.At European Preview, exhibitors from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom showed a variety of fabrics for every occasion. The variety and novelty were impressive. Most of the exhibitors at I TexStyle are from the Prato area, and there was a lot of sameness in what they presented. Reinvented DenimJust when you think that nothing else can be done to denim, it reinvents itself woven or knitted in new fiber blends, and with new treatments and embellishments. Most of it contains elastane. Lanificio del Casentino, an Italian company showing at European Preview, has denim woven in a blend of cashmere, cotton and Lycra®. The hand is luxurious. Luxe denim for evening jeans turned up at the Swiss company Weisbrod Zuerrer in colors and woven with Lurex®. French knitter Billon Freres has reversible denim with glittery stripes. It is knitted in a blend of cotton, nylon and Lycra.French denim specialist Milag has stretch denim lacquered with gold pin dots or silver rectangles, ragged denim with a torn look achieved through a burn-out treatment, quartz-finished denim that looks like reptile skin, and a lot of prints on denim. Some of the prints are stylized chinoiserie, while others pick up American themes of eagles, flags and stars. There are marbled patterns and digital photo images.The diversified Italian company Miroglio showed flocked denim at European Preview. Another Italian company, Wonder, exhibiting at both shows, has stone-washed denim that reverses to velvet-flocked patterns. Designs are mottled, web-like, marbled and spotted. Some resemble animal skins. Garments on display showed the pattern side out.At I TexStyle, other Italian companies showing novelty denim include New Jersey, with knitted corduroy bonded to denim; Nannucci, with a warm-hand wool, cotton and Lycra blend; and Emmetex, with denim bonded to pile or manipulated with pulled-thread patterns. Europa showed nothing but denim and corduroy. It is available in a variety of weights, with warp stretch, in jacquard designs, printed and coated with metal.German corduroy specialist Cord und Velveton, a first-time exhibitor at European Preview, has a wide range of weights and wales. Currently fine wale (12 to 16) and ribless weft-stretch corduroy are popular for womenswear. Menswear buyers are into eight-wale and high/low cuts. In addition to corduroy, this firm sells moleskin, sateen and other heavy cottons. Most are Teflon®-treated and sell for outerwear. Queen Elizabeth II wears the companys fabrics for riding. We make the best German cloth for the worst British weather, said Dr. Friedrich Criegee of Cord und Velveton.At I TexStyle, tie-dyed corduroy at Stylewool; knitted corduroy of cotton, modal and nylon, at New Jersey; and viscose, nylon and elastane at Gartex were pointed out. Vintage WoolsWith the popularity of the Jacqueline Kennedy White House Years show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, French wool weaver de Cathalo went back through its archives. Many of the coats and suits worn by Mrs. Kennedy were made using de Cathalo fabrics. Some of these fabrics are still selling today, including a soft 580 grams-per-meter (g/m) coating of alpaca and wool. Other fabrics have been updated, lightened and softened. Many contain Lycra blended with wool and cashmere.The 153-year-old Italian company Lanificio del Casentino, showing at European Preview, is also into vintage fabrics. Originally, the company was known as a weaver of fine hunting cloths. One fabric still in its line is a heavy wool felt-like cloth with a ratinurface. The fabric is boiled after it is napped. For hunting, it was dyed orange. It is now available in an extended color range and in lighter versions, some with Lycra. Cashmere flannels and coatings, and soft wool and angora pant and jacket weights are other fabrics that sampled well.French wool weaver Alba la Source has Shetlands in bold designs that coordinate with boucland tweeds. There are tonal patterns in pastel shades for early Fall and bright colors that are expected to sell for Winter. High/low surfaces and wide diagonals in black-and-white combinations are another look. For a sportier customer, there are rustic tweeds; some have a touch of glitter.Ulster Weavers, a first-time exhibitor at European Preview, recently purchased Moygashel, which nearly doubles its weaving capacity. For the first time, the company is producing a wool range for Fall. Sixty percent will be woven on the worsted system, 30 percent on the woolen system, and 10 percent will be Donegals. Sixty percent of the line is being styled for womenswear and 40 percent for men.Michael Londrigan, U.S. sales manager, Ulster Weavers, explained that wool and linen can be woven on the same equipment, so the changeover from Winter to Spring is no problem. Dying and finishing of wool fabrics are done on the outside. At European Preview, classic dress- and suit-weight wools of about 200 g/m, and small checks and herringbones in 100-percent wool and wool/linen blends were shown. There will be more to see in Paris at Premiere Vision.Three Scottish weavers, also showing for the first time at European Preview, were pleased with the contacts made at the show. ReidandTaylor sells cashmere, wool and silk. Worsted suitings, double-faced cashmere coatings and worsted/wool reversibles are the beginning of its fall line. At Cairns of Scotland, there are classic tartans and giant tartans. Alexanders of Scotland is showing lambswool coatings of 680 g/m with an ultra-soft hand and heathers and tweeds in wool and silk blends. Prato WoolensAt I TexStyle, early indications from the Prato wool weavers corroborate what was shown at European Preview. There are menswear influences, vintage looks, micro patterns, twills, double-faced fabrics, stretch, surface interest and soft-touch tweeds. Milior showed wool/Lycra classic stripes and checks. Coverts, bi-colored twills, lightweight tweeds, and micro patterns turned up at Rosati. There are brushed-back stretch coverts in soft winter pastels at Manteco-Mantellassi. Europ Marchini has brushed-back wool and silk jacquards.There is a lot of novelty in Picchis line, both knitted and woven. Stretch mesh and wool lace in a blend of wool/nylon/acrylic/elastane, fancy bulky tweeds, boucl#44; reversible wool coatings with PVC on one side, and velours in wool/nylon/hemp blends are some of the new fabrics. The line goes from classic to sporty. There are luxurious wool coatings, classic suit-weight fabrics, and sporty looks in blends.Faliero Sarti e Figli has an extensive line for Fall; a lot of the fabrics coordinate. There are basic trouser and jacket fabrics with micro structures and narrow stripes, crepes and stretch. A group of knitted and woven black and white patterns work together. Piece-dyed stripes of 100-percent wool are woven with a treated yarn that can be used in the warp or weft. When dyed, the effect is one of subtle tonal patterns.There are vintage looks and surface effects at Faliero Sarti. Some are woven in wool and raffia, while others have the look of Chanel tweeds woven with mohair or in blends of wool with silk, cashmere or viscose. Double-sided fabrics are laser-cut on one side; velours and velvets are bi-colored and textured. Dianne Beaudry, who designs for GarfieldandMarks, liked some of the masculine/ feminine fabrics and stripes.There is a lot of novelty at Linea Tessile Italiana. Embroidered tie-dyed wool, printed alpaca gauze, glitter-flocked velvet, wool and mohair jacquards, and wool and cotton chenille that sparkles and stretches are some of the new offerings for Fall.Black and white coating fabrics at EMME are bulky and light. There are widely spaced stripes, diagonals and pebble weaves. FA.I.SA shows bold tweeds reminiscent of Chanel; some are woven with Lurex. At Moda Piu, there are ultra-sheer wool crepes in polyester, wool and elastane, Donegals and double-faced jacquards in multi-fiber blends.Gabriel Inchauspe, mens design director, Kenneth Cole, commented on the ease of tailoring wool blends and the pin stripes he saw at both shows. Techno DevelopmentsSwiss techno specialist Schoeller has another new innovation lauded by activewear and sportswear designers. Called 3XDRY, it is a treatment that transports and evaporates moisture eight times faster than any other. Christine Jenny showed and demonstrated 3XDRY in a double-faced fabric. Water dropped on the inside quickly transports to the outside, spreads and is evaporated in a matter of seconds. The process is being licensed to other textile producers, including German knitter Eschler.Griffine, French specialists in fake leathers and skins, showed three new double-faced fabrics. There is fake leather-backed cotton flannel, suede backed to chamois, and microfiber chamois that reverses to light, soft and supple fake leather. PrintsandPatternsShirting fabrics at French weaver Emanuel Lang are soft with a warm touch. There are flannels, heathers, twills, end-on-ends and poplins, all woven of 100-percent cotton. Small designs and small repeats are expected to sell. A cotton and Lycra stretch sateen was pointed out as the best sampling fabric.E. Boselli, exhibiting at I TexStyle, specializes in fabrics for intimate apparel and eveningwear. Tina Wilson, who designs for Donna Karan Intimates, shops this line. She was looking for anything that has a soft and cozy look laces, flocking and, of course, stretch. At Boselli, she saw stretch jacquards woven of micropolyester. They are printed and come with coordinating solids.Many printed fabric lines were incomplete. Early indications are that Chinese figuratives, foulards, lace looks and printed textures will be popular. Liberty has had a good reaction to little fruity prints, intricate botanicals on dyed grounds and winter paisleys. French silk weaver BianchiniFerier showed small all-over buildings reminiscent of New Yorks skyline printed on silk chiffon, georgette, crepe de chine and twill.For evening, Bianchini has hand-painted silk chiffons and double diagonal ombrchiffons that have a 125-centimeter (cm) repeat in one direction and 145 cm in the other. The colors change when the fabric moves.At Bucol, heavy silk cut velvet in jewel colors and chenille woven with metal take on a Renaissance feeling. Ombryed laces at Solstiss are new. Beaded laces here, also in jewel tones, look as if they were designed for the 17th century.At Weisbrod Zuerrer, there are two colored moiracquards woven in small all-over patterns; dimensional jacquards with abstract designs; and sparkling, puckered stretch jacquards. Rich satins, textured boucland ribbed taffetas have a cocktail suit look.Amy Bonomi, Fabric Show Director for Magic International, said the I TexStyle show exceeded her expectations. We will definitely hold another show in January, she said.Daniel Faure, chairman, Premier Vision and European Preview, said, Our third edition of European Preview is another success. This shows us that there is a demand in the USA for quality and innovation. We are here for the long term, with the right product at the right time.Will East meet West Two separate shows are planned for January 2002. After that
there is a demand in the USA for quality and innovation. Daniel Faure, chairman, Premiere Vision, European Preview

September 2001